The Performance Project began in the Hampshire County jail, inspiring inmates to create original theater and motivating them to change their lives. Now the group, led by activist artist Julie Lichtenberg, is creating multilingual performances with young people from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds and family histories. Some are children of immigrants—from Haiti, Nepal and Burundi—and all identify in some way as “first generation,” breaking down old barriers and stigmas. On Saturday, the First Generation ensemble previews its latest work as part of a gala concert featuring a who’s who of the area’s world music luminaries, including Charles Neville, Evelyn Harris, Jo Sallins, Avery Sharpe, Tony Vacca and Senegalese kora master Youssoupha Sidibe.

April 20, 7 p.m., Academy of Music, 274 Main St., Northampton, $15, $50 for preferred seating and meet-the-artists reception. (413) 584-9032,

Author: Chris Rohmann

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